Shia Islam - Fulton County Schools

Stephanie Hoang
Jasmine Klar
Younji Lee
Imam Ali Mosque, where Ali is buried.
Shah Ismail Safavi
A drawing of Ali.
‘Shia’ written in Arabic.
Muhammad receiving his first
revelation from the angel Gabriel.
Map of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan
(spread of Shia Islam)
11th Century Qur’an in
the British Museum
A diagram showing the
population of Shiites
and Sunnis in various
The Great Mosque of Kairouan
Chronology: Pre-history
• 570 CE: Muhammad the Prophet is born.
• 598 CE: Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, is born.
• 610 CE: This is the year the Muslims cite as the beginning of Muhammad’s
• 630 CE: The Muslims, led by Muhammad, conquer Mecca.
• 632 CE: Muhammad dies. Abu Bakr became the first caliph. The conflict
between the Shiites and Sunnis begins because the Shiites believe that Ali
should have been the first caliph.
• 634 CE: Umar becomes the second caliph.
• 636 CE: The Muslims win Iraq from the Persians.
• 644 CE: Uthman becomes the third caliph after Umar is murdered by a
Christian slave.
• 656 CE: Uthman is murdered. Ali becomes the fourth caliph. His followers
are known as the Shiites. His army defeats Aisha, wife of the prophet and
daughter of Abu Bakhr, and her forces at the Battle of the Camel.
• 661 CE: The Battle of Suffin occurs between Muawayi and Ali. Ali is assassinated
by one of his own men. Muawiyah becomes caliph. He makes Damascus his
capital and founds the Umayyad dynasty.
• 680 CE: Muawiya dies. The Battle of Karbala occurs. Ali’s son Hussein fights
against the army of the caliph at Karbala in Iraq. He is defeated, and his army is
massacred. The division between the Shiites and Sunni is set.
• 685 CE: Ali’s oldest son, Hasan, fails in an attempted revolt against the
• 750 CE: Almost the entire Umayyad dynasty is destroyed after the Battle of Zab,
a revolt in Egypt led by Abu Al Abbass al-Saffah.
• 754 CE: Abbass dies. Abbas' son Al Mansur murders Jafar and becomes
caliphate. He founds the Abbassid dynasty.
• 873 CE: The 11th Shiite Imam dies.
• 874 CE: The son of the 11th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, disappears, leaving his
representatives to rule the Shiites.
• 873-940 CE: This period is known as the Lesser Occultation.
• 940 CE: The Greater Occultation of the 12th or Hidden Imam begins. There is
still no Imam or representative to lead the Shiites.
• 1258: The Abbassid Dynasty is destroyed by the Mongols, led by Hulagu.
Chronology Continued
• 1501: The Safavid Dynasty is established by Ismail I in Persia, and
Shiism is declared the state religion.
• 1587 CE: Shah Abbas becomes ruler of the Safavid Dynasty.
• 1598 CE: War against the Uzbeks. The Uzbeks retreat.
• 1605 CE: War against the Ottomans. The Ottomans retreat.
• 1624 CE: The Ottomans besiege Baghdad.
• 1629 CE: Shah Abbas dies.
• 1638 CE: The Ottomans retake Baghdad.
• 1639 CE: A peace treaty with the Ottomans is established and the
Iranian-Ottoman border is finalized.
• 1642 CE: Shah Abbas II becomes ruler of Iran.
• 1667 CE: Shah Abbas II dies.
• 1732 CE: Shah Abbas III becomes ruler of Iran.
• 1736 CE: End of the Safavid Dynasty
 The leaders of Sufism (a mystical branch of Islam), also known as the tariqa, passed
the leadership through hereditary relations.
 Isma’il was a young Safavid master that took control by claiming to be the
Representative of the Hidden Imam. He continued to lead his army to conquest until
all of Iran was controlled and their religion was changed to Shiite Islam.
 Brought in Shiite religious leaders and granted them land and money for their loyalty
 Isfahan: Center of learning
 “The School of Isfahan” was a philosophical movement that included part of
Aristotle’s philosophy., as well as finding the balance between reason and intuition.
(Hikmat-i Ilahi/ Divine Law)
 Used Persian as a second language for administrative purposes
 Translated documents into Arabic: Qur’an and other books of mathematics, law,
history, and academics
 Shi’ism became the official religion of Iran during Isma’iI’s rule of the Safavid empire,
causing the majority of Iran to convert from Sunni to Shitte Islam.
 Today, 90% of Iranians are Shi’a and 8% are Sunni.
 Recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians as religious minorities
 Mosques, palaces, and royal gardens were great architectural achievements,
especially for the Safavid empire (Imperial Mosque and Royal Palace)
 Monumental buildings were built in the center of Shiite learning: Isfahan.
 Book illuminations: miniature paintings/ Poetry
 Textiles and tile-work
Iran Continued
 Conservation of natural elements including water and plants, by creating new
patterns of cities and urban spaces
 Theological sciences
 Schools, baths, houses, and bazaars were developed
 Shah Abbas I was the ruler that caused Portuguese’s monopoly on trade with Asia
to come to an end, and produced treaties with Great Britain and the Netherlands.
 Silk Road
 Spices, sugar, metals , and coffee were some of the main exports. Artisan products
provided for foreign trade in Iran, centered in Tabriz.
 Economic wealth led to the decline due to concentrated wealth in few people
 Members of society must be of Shiite religion or one of the three recognized
minorities to have rights of citizenship
 Society has been based on religious demonstrations and functions within mosques
 Allow mutah (fixed-term temporary marriage), wearing of the hijab for women, and
names derived from saints
 Existing branches: Twelvers (over 85%), Ismaili, Zaidi
 Included Shia groups in its constitution and government
 Individual way of thinking impacted by the teachings in the Quran
 Two major Shia communities in Afghanistan: the Imami and the Ismaili
 Twelve Imams (Islamic Leadership Position)are recognized
 Calligraphy considered the highest art
 Afghanistan mosques have distinct structure and architectural designs
 Impressionist art an integral part of Afghanistan Shia art
 Muslim, Afghanistan engineers invented windmills
 Innovations in the use of fossil fuels and industrial mills
 Shia groups largely dependent on agriculture
 Different interpretations of the Quran and culture have lead to women being denied
their rights
 Women have a strict dress code, do not have the same property, marriage, and
divorce rights as men
 Before introduced to Afghanistan, there were people of many religions including
Zorastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism
 Later, increasing amounts of people began to convert to Islam
 Some Sunni and Shia militias were associated with political parties.
 The city of Kufa was home to Abu Hanifah, a famous scholar, who established a school
of thought that is followed by many Sunni Muslims.
 The al-Askari Mosque, which is located in Samarra, stores the mausoleums of the
10th and 11th Shia Imams and the shrine of Muhammad al-Mahdi, the 12th Imam.
 Samarra is also the site of burial for the wives of the prophet Muhammad, making it a
site of worship for the Shiites.
 Many Shiites visit the shrines of Imams.
 Najaf is considered a great center of pilgrimage. The tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who the
Shiites consider to be the first Imam, is located here.
 In Nineveh, remains of palace temples were discovered
 The palace temples were made out of sun-dried bricks, and some were decorated
with sculptures and paintings.
 Irrigation systems
 Baghdad battery (‘electric battery’)
Largely depends on oil, petroleum, and gas for export
Agricultural crops include wheat, barley, corn, rice, vegetables, and cotton.
Exports cattle and sheep
Imports food, fuels, medicines, and manufactured goods
Iraq Continued
 Shiites make up the majority of the population (65-70%), while Sunnis are a minority
 Most Iraqi Shias are Arab.
 Most Shiites live south of the country and in Baghdad, but some are also found
amongst the Turkmen, Kurds and others in the north.
Comparisons between Countries
• In Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq, all of the Shia are somewhat associated with
politics but in different ways.
– In Afghanistan, Shia group was incorporated into their Constitution and
– In Iraq, Shia militia was incorporated into political parties
• Iran and Iraq were influenced intellectually by the rise of Shia Islam as
shown through their centers of learning and schools
• In Iran, it is important for society to be of Shia religion because rights of
citizenship are given to Shiites and three other minorities
• The three countries' art and architecture revolves around the architecture
of mosques
• Economy was largely affected by Shia religion in Iran as shown through
their extensive trade routes
• In Iraq and Afghanistan, technological advances in constructions were
made by Muslim engineers. In Iran, as a result of the spread of Shia
religion, technological advances were made especially in the city structure
Comparisons between Shiite and Sunni Islam
• Sunni Islam makes up 90% of Muslim population
• Majority of Shiites live in Iraq and Iran
• Both religions have some similar beliefs. Both believe that Allah is the
only god, and Mohammad was the last prophet.
• The Quran is the holy book for both Shiites and Sunnis
• Sunnis and Shiites both live according to the five pillars of Islam (the five
duties of every Muslim)
• Mosques are places of worship for both Shiites and Sunnis
• Both practice religious days such as Eid al=Adha, Eid al-Fitr, and
• Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs were the legitimate religious
• In contrast, Shiites believe that only heirs of Ali are legitimate successors
of Mohammed
• Shiites have different methods of prayer. They place their head on hard
clay and sometimes condense their daily prayers into three prayers
• Shiites permit temporary marriages while they are banned by the Sunnis
• Shiite incorporate the holy day of Ashura into their religion as an
important religious holiday
Change Over Time
• The followers of Islam split into two distinct
groups, Sunni and Shiite in 680 CE. Over time,
their religious practices, customs, and beliefs
have slowly diverted.
• In 765 CE, the division between Shiites separated
into various branches, including the Twelvers,
based on their support of various imams.
• In Iran, the Safavid empire made Iran convert
from Sunni Islam to a population consisting
mainly those of the Shiite Islam faith, significantly
changing the demographics.
• Overall, the distinctions between Sunni and Shiite
have increased over time and the conflict
between both groups has remained unresolved.
Uses in the World Today
• Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is a part of Al-Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim group. It was
founded in 2003 under the leadership of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. This
organization may have been involved in the plot to bomb the Millennium
celebrations in 1999 in the United States. One of its main goals is to withdraw
the U.S. forces from Iraq and to defeat Shiite militias.
• The construction of a mosque in New York City near Ground Zero is currently a
highly debated issue. Many are hesitant to build an Islamic center near the
location where the 9/11 terrorist attacks, executed by 19 Muslim men,
• In Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, religious days such as Ashura have become
national holidays and countries still participate in it in the present
• Ashura is a public holiday in which Shiites mourn the death of Hussein and
engage in chest beating rituals and inflict pain on themselves to enact the
suffering of Hussein
• A variety of holy mosques/sites still play significant roles in the world today. For
example, the significance of the Masjid al-Haram holy site is shown through
how all Muslims turn in the direction of the site in their daily prayers
• The Shia Family Law is an Afghanistan law that affects the Shia population;
Afghanistan Shia women are currently protesting the law because it has taken
away much of their marital rights and caused controversial issues such as the
legalization of rape between a married couple
• "History of Iran: Safavid Empire 1502 - 1736." Iran
Chamber Society. Web. 08 Oct. 2010.
• "Islam Divided: The Shiites and Sunnis." Constitutional
Rights Foundation. Web. 07 Oct. 2010. <>.
• "Islam, The Spread Of Islam." World History International:
World History Essays From Prehistory To The Present. Web.
07 Oct. 2010. <>.
• "The Origins of the Sunni/Shia Split in Islam." Islam For
Today. Web. 07 Oct. 2010.
• "The Origins of the Sunni-Shi'Ite Split - The Flow of
History." The Flow of History. Web. 07 Oct. 2010.
Individual Work
PIRATES (Iran): Jasmine Klar
PIRATES (Iraq): Stephanie Hoang
PIRATES (Afghanistan): Younji Lee
Chronology: Stephanie Hoang
Change Over Time: Jasmine Klar
Comparisons: Younji Lee
Maps/Pictures/Charts: Jasmine Klar
Uses in the World Today: Stephanie Hoang, Younji

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